tv [untitled] March 25, 2014 4:00am-4:31am PDT
local community group, i've also known juliet through her work at urban habitat in east bay. and you've heard from a lot of people about how principled, how high character, honorable, integrity and i echo that statement and all those statements from many speakers here today. she really has advanced a number of important programs for low and moderate income people. and really become a model of how we can create bigger accountability within some of our public agencies here in san francisco, which is a very difficult town to create real change in, especially for low-income people. so, the puc has done an investigation. there's been an agreement that was done a couple months ago. it seems pretty logical that this shall be done, it should have been done a couple months ago. by doing this you create a pretty powerful group of people to come out and say to not only stop, but i would agree, change
the resolution to an apology to juliet, stop this witch hunt and stop this politically motivated action. so... (applause) good evening, everybody. my name is christian [speaker not understood]. i'm not a california resident by birth. i moved here a few years ago. i just retired from the air force -- sorry, everybody. i did 22 years of dedicated service in the united states air force and what in the air force something called the core values. integrity first, excellence in all we do, and service [speaker not understood]. anybody that knows juliet knows that this is her hands absolute down. another thing i'd like to say is punishment is a learning tool within the air force and as we're going up through our child hoods. she's learned from her mistakes, she's paid for it. [speaker not understood]. let's just press on, move
forward and i'm pretty sure y'all have something better to do at this moment than listen to everybody else along with everybody else tell you how great she is. because that is a true fact. i'm sure everybody heard this. those people that push on thing like that usually are trying to hide something. i might want to take that into account if i were use because it could be you on the chopping block eventually. maybe you won't all these people standing here on your side. her ethical integral moral standing were the highest accord. she always will and continue to fight for what is right. whether or not you believe that, it's your time. having us here tonight is us giving back to her, paying her forward and hoping that she can get past and through all this and we can all let her do her job. thank you. (applause)
good evening. my name is carol tatum and i've lived in san francisco since 1955. and i have seen the african-american population go from somewhere between 17 and 25% to now between 4 and 6%. i've seen african americans live in substandard housing as now 80% of the 4 to 6% live in either public or subsidized housing. so, that is an indication of how san francisco treats african americans. now, i don't know juliet. quite frankly, i didn't know about this situation. i don't read the newspaper as much as i should. but i heard about it yesterday. as a matter of principle, i felt that i should come here
today. it sounds like this matter had been resolved, but you have chosen to reopen it. i don't know why. and people have indicated that there must be some ulterior motive. and as i sit and i listen, i have to believe that myself. but as president obama said, trayvon martin could be his son. juliet could be my daughter. so, i ask you to stop this. stop this mistreatment of african-americans in this city. thank you. (applause) >> thank you for your comments. thank you for your comments. sir, please. yes, my name is sean richard, i'm the executive director of brothers against guns. i met juliet because she helped us with a second round of young
men that we was helping called the redirection program with a few -- with one of my counterpartenerses ken mitchell that we started. a couple young men that was dealing with violence, anger management, conflict resolution, trying to get his life together, help them get jobs. we met her through the san francisco foundation seeking money. she helped us out and directed us. but the question is that we're opening up a case. why not open up the trayvon martin case and deal with that? if we're going to deal with issues, let's deal with a lot of issues we have in san francisco. this is a small issue. we all make mistakes. we bounce back, we do the right thing and we move forward. we live and we build and we move on. but this right here is ridiculous. but i want to say to you guys is this. ask yourself if it was you, would you guys be going through the same situation juliet is going through? honestly ask yourself that. (applause) >> thank you.
thank you for your comments. are you -- please. hi, my name is jerry edmonds. i lived here since '89. [speaker not understood]. i'm a black gay, positive med, use medical marijuana. not crack addicted and this city has a lot going on. so, african-american people, we are really -- we're not getting the service. we're not getting attention. knowing that this lady is working out in bayview where it's 500, $100 million homes being built, when you're trying to take the project monday and i build those homes out there, knowing that, you know, we're trying to put even the plane crash in the plane, a black lady, [speaker not understood]. the black policemen get beat up in bayview even though he's a policeman.
you see this noose on my tie? someone tie this into a noose. things like this in san francisco, we've become known for people -- giving people apartments, [speaker not understood] put a noose on this side. i have a black man [speaker not understood]. but stuff like this going on, i'm not surprised that we're here. tonight is really a good meeting of the minds because ethics, you know, should be part of all of our lives. and san francisco stands tall on the mountain, but we have to know that african americans have made this city what it is greatly. and it's not appreciated of anything, you know. if you look at the tenderloin where i stay at, how hard it is to see people laying on the street. the mayor helped the mission, doesn't want to give them crack so they can get pharmaceutical
crack. they got [speaker not understood] but you only give african-american people to come up. thank god that the president, michelle obama, first lady, [speaker not understood], walking the great wall. and you know this thing about where african-american kids are losing their funding because they said we don't have houses here so they don't need the money. the education is being [speaker not understood]. at ethics, i don't want you to feel like you're russia, uganda, cameroon, [speaker not understood]. i know i myself, i work hard as a great humanitarian from this side of the country for the rest of our world. and, you know, san francisco should treat us blacks [speaker not understood], we have 38,000 registered black voters in here. we need to start by coming in here [speaker not understood] the day that martin luther king
was assassinated and standing out with the trash men and be out here for housing and schools and education in san francisco just for a friday, you know. if we're going to start [speaker not understood] we're going to come down here and ask everyone to be a part of what ethics in san francisco -- >> thank you. the way it should look, [speaker not understood]. thank you. (applause) >> i want to thank the speaker ask all the speakers for their comments. many of them were very moving and clearly ms. ellis is lucky to have you all. during the course of the comments, commissioner keane asked to be specially recognized at this moment. >> thank you, mr. chair. i speak as a point of personal privilege. i, i have never known ms. ellis. i had no idea who she was. i never met her. i didn't know her race. i knew nothing about her. i see the supporters she has. i see the people who are here whom i've known in san francisco, many of them for 40
years or more, people like reverend and ms. brown, arnold townsend, van jones, many other people from the baker senate. what happened in regard to this matter in terms of you're asking for an explanation of it as to whether or not there is some sort of hidden agenda. i can tell you there is not. and let me just go -- give you the history of what happened here. ~ so we can all understand and i can do what i have to do. we had ms. ellis essentially admit to and plead guilty to a couple of things which, one, two counts of influencing a government decision in which the official has a financial benefit. and also another count of violation of a section which prohibits any city or officer or employee from making a contract in which she has a financial interest. and then there was another one
having to do with inappropriate conduct. this committee had gone ahead and prosecuted her for those ethical violations under its powers to do so. and had entered into a stipulation with her giving her, and which she accepted certain putsv, which were the extent of what we could punish her for, for these particular violations. so, in that sense, then, our job was over in regard to ms. ellis. the thought was at the time when we were doing this, and we had none of you all here, nobody was here. the thought when we were doing this, that in regard to these particular violations influencing a government decision, which the official has a financial benefit, that's a fairly egregious ethical breach and the thought was, and
we had some discussion, i had mentioned it, this person by admitting these things has really admitted that she engaged in corrupt conduct and has disgraced herself and it would be unlikely that she would continue in san francisco employment, that she would likely be fired. so, the next step, then, was that it was in the -- the ball was in the court of the san francisco public utilities commission. and i had heard that they had not terminated her. so, i was the one who introduced this resolution. i'm the one to blame for introducing this resolution. i sat here tonight and i've listened to all of you and i've listened to the message that you sent. it's not just the message that's a powerful message. it's a tsunami in terms of who this woman is and in terms of what you think of her and in
terms of her importance, particularly in the minority community. and in the black community ~. and i agree, based upon everything that you've said, that to go ahead and terminate ms. ellis would be sending a terrible message to the city and county of san francisco, particularly to minority individuals who want to be part of public service in san francisco. it would be, it would be miss perceived and it would be underably misperceived. it would be misperceived in the way many of you said. so, in regard to there being some sort of hidden agenda or any sort of racism, van jones had it right. we stepped in it. that's what happened. and i want to withdraw the resolution. [cheering and applauding]
>> i think there is no objection from any of the other commissioners. [multiple voices] >> we feel your heart and we thank you. you've proven to be a gentleman of character and honor. >> thank you, reverend brown. ~ i would like to keep the policy discussion on the agenda for the purpose of ensuring that we don't have this kind of thing happen again, that we can all agree that we're not going, in the future, to undermine the commission's authority to settle matters. so, that will remain on the agenda. the specific proposal has been withdrawn by commissioner keane. the next item on the agenda is the complaint number 04 -- i never met mr. keane, but
i'm glad i him tonight because that is the kind of person that will help us move forward, not backwards. i'm [speaker not understood]. i'm one of the ministers at dr. brown's third baptist church. >> thank you, reverend lewis. [multiple voices] >> i told you when you nominated me for that position [speaker not understood]. >> i just didn't know how [speaker not understood] you were. okay. [multiple voices]
>> the next item on the agenda is ethics complaint 04-14 303, ray hartz versus luis herrera, city librarian. mr. herrera. >> mr. hartz is not here and did not request a continuance. so, i'm assuming we're just going to go ahead. >> we're going to go forward. thank you for your patience, sir. >> sure, thank you very much, commissioners. i'm luis herrera, city librarian. i trust you received my letter that gave background on this matter regarding showing cause for the sunshine ordinance task force, an order of termination. mr. hartz violated the sunshine ordinance by failing to provide equal access to members of the public regarding the library use of audiovisual material during public comment.
>> sir, i'm sorry to interrupt you. i'm going to ask staff at the door be closed so we can actually hear you. >> thank you. >> so, [speaker not understood] highlight the audience. you've been very patient this evening. the [speaker not understood] commission did not violate the sunshine ordinance because the commission entered a decision not to expend significant resource he to make the necessary accommodations to modify the technology that the library uses and to correct auditorium strictly on the basis of economics. the library, after mr. hartz
did request via e-mail to consider allowing public comment and use of audio visual wasv during public ~ visuals during public comment, we did explore having an overhead with transparencies. that did not work because it did not project for the commission and the audience to be able to view the audiovisual material. we explored further reconfiguration of the entire set up that we currently have in the current auditorium. we also involved the engineering staff at our library, director of facilities, [speaker not understood] lombardi is here. if you need more clarification on that, [speaker we consulted with the department of public works. all said it would he require spending upwards of $40,000 to change the reconfiguration. so, currently the library only allows staff and individuals that are invited as part of commission agenda to present any av kind of materials.
so, the -- mr. hartz filed a complaint with the sunshine ordinance task force. that was heard in july of last year. they found that the library commission violated the administrative code section 67.5 [speaker not understood] public comment by not allowing the audiovisual commitment and the matter was referred to the sunshine ordinance compliance and [speaker not understood] galore and referred back to the sunshine ordinance task force. as a result of the finding, as city librarian i brought the matter back to the library commission for discussion and possible action to allow the use of a-v commitment. and there is a memo from the city librarian to the commission dated august 12 of last year. we also saut the opinion of the city attorney's office and the city attorney's office advised that whether the library provides access to a-v equipment is a policy determination of the library commission because neither the brown act nor the sunshine ordinance task force gives member of the public the right
to access during public comment to sf audiovisual technology. public administrative code section 67.15 address he the right of public comment, but does not prescribe the method, means, or mode of technology that the library commission must allow the public to use during public comment. the library did have a good conversation discussion [speaker not understood] of the various options on august 15th and they voted 6 to 0 to not allow the use of audiovisual equipment for public comment because allowing members of the public to use a-v equipment during public comment would require the library to expend significant resources to make the accommodations necessary to modify the technology set up. the library commission did, however, make it clear that the public could bring printed copies of any presentations to the library commission and have them made available at the back of the room. and there is also attached
library commission minutes that describe the conversation and the ultimate action. in terms of discussion, i also want to emphasize that as city librarian, i followed the policy direction established by the library commission, city charter section 4.102 on boards and commissions stipulates, and there's two specific areas. one, that the commission or the unit of government of executive branch of the city and county shall formulate, evaluate and approve goals, objectives of plans and programs and set policies consistent with the overall goals of the city ask county as established by the mayor and the board of supervisors to the adoption of city legislation and after public hearing, that's item number 3, approve applicable departmental budgets or any budget modification or fund transfers requiring the approval of the board of supervisors. i brought the matter regarding the use of a-va equipment to
the attention of the commission and deliberate on the matter and ultimately arrive at a decision. ~ their decision of using the equipment by members of the public during public comment is their policy decision and i have adhered to that policy. therefore, i did not violate the sunshine ordinance. i also want to reiterate that the library commission did not violate administrative code 67.15 a or b because the decision not to expend significant resources to make the necessary accommodations to modify the technology was based on fiscal matters. and finally, just to cut to the chase, i just want to emphasize that this is a policy decision that rests with the library commission and that administrative code specifically addresses the right to public comments does not prescribe the method, means or mode of technology that the library must allow. for these reasons, we did not
violate the administrative code and the library commission has met its burden and shown that it did not violate the sunshine ordinance. the library commission secretary sue black man is here in case you need to have any further clarification on the matter. thank you very much. >> thank you. any questions for mr. herrera from the commission? >> i have a question. i'm just not clear on what exactly mr. hartz was requesting. i mean, was it use of computer graphics or what? >> my understanding is that he wanted during each public comment segment of the agenda to show powerpoints and to show audiovisual material as part of public comment. >> i see. >> and we did not have the set-up currently configured to allow for that. >> thank you. >> commissioner -- >> i understand that, mr. herrera, you have a podium for, i take it, the staff when it
makes its presentation to the commission. and then there is a separate podium like there is here where the public makes their comments. >> that is absolutely correct. >> and your audiovisual equipment is on that podium for the staff. >> that is correct. >> now, you have said that what's shown on the audiovisual is whatever has been prepared by the staff? >> that is correct. >> and is there something that some public group can also have shown at that time? >> no. the only time that we have additional audiovisual equipment is when it's part of the agenda. for example, we've had some construction programs and an architect is invited to present as part of discussion that will take place during the commission. >> how about -- i think mr. hartz said something about the friends of the library occasionally make presentation. >> again, that's done under the city librarian's report when there is a standing item that
is agendized and i invite the executive director and i present any audiovisual showing the fiscal matters related to that support group. >> what about if some organization is opposed to the item and you've given them notice and they say, we want you to put on your audiovisuals, the same our position that is on the contrary? would it be done? or has it ever been done? >> ah, no, that has not been done. >> he okay. thanks. >> commissioner keane -- >> i'd like to follow-up on commissioner renne's points because i think you do have significant problems here in regard to the way you're currently doing things. and in regard to your letter to mr. hartz dated may 5th, you say, "currently the commission
allows only sfpl staff and individuals and organizations invited to make presentations to the commission to use the library's computers to connect to its audiovisual equipment. so, you do invite individuals and you do invite organizations to make presentations and you allow them to use this equipment. is that correct? >> that is correct, as part of the agenda. >> so, the problem you have, as one that teaches constitutional law, i can tell you that by virtue of having this discussion, you have a public forum that has been set up there and you are quite right when you disagree with mr. hartz that you are not discriminating on the basis of viewpoint. it's not viewpoint based, which would be a first amendment problem. but you are discriminating on the basis of content. you are allowing certain groups
with certain content, those groups you invite and other organizations who make presentations, to have the use of these facilities. but other members of the public you don't. so, that's content discrimination and under the law relating to public forums, the only way you can justify content discrimination is by meeting -- i don't want to be too much my professor hat here on -- is by meeting a standard called strict scrutiny. that's the only way you can present your presentations in any feasible way. your main argument s well, if we allow these public groups to do this, it's going to cost us some money ~. strict scrutiny is never going to be satisfied by the fact it's going to cost you something. so, you are, indeed -- i'm not saying you're doing this intentionally, but you are violating the first amendment here by making this content
based. if you're doing this for these people whom you're inviting, you have to do it for other members of the public as well who are going to make presentations. otherwise, i see you are in violation of the first amendment. but may i -- >> with all due respect, just simply i would argue that when we invite any other member, it's because it's been formalized as part of the agenda and they are either part of presenters or we are presenting that content. it is not discriminating members of the public from offering public comment in any shape, form, or fashion. >> but the manner in which they can present it is significantly inhibited from those as opposed to those whom you've invited. the ones you've invited, they can use the facilities. the ones you haven't invited can't use the facilities. so, they're not -- they're not able to get across the message
in the same fashion as with presenters whom you've invited. that's a first amendment problem for you. >> commissioner andrews? >> thank you, commissioner keane, for framing what was rolling around in my head all day within constitutional law. i was struggling with the fact that the equipment is there and it exists and it is being utilized by certain individuals, but not available for others. so, what i wanted to hear was a little bit more about the alternatives that you explored and why they didn't work and how, how aggressive and rigorous were you with that exploration. >> sure. and i'll ask our director of facilities to explain that. but we started with a very
basic transparency and the set-up simply did not allow for it to show on the projection screen for both the commission and the public. so, that was disavowed. the second thing is we explored reconfiguring the podium that's at the public end so that we would allow a laptop to be used for members of the public to use that laptop for a-v presentations. that is the matter where it would require some aa. go. a. accommodations, some recabling, i mentioned earlier, the a.v. equipment is on the stable behind the dais of the commission. ~ ada accommodations so, we certainly explored that, got contractors to give us a cost and determined that could be done. that would require an expenditure of $40,000 to do that. >> so, here's what i have a problem. you thought it was worthy